Posted by: jility | September 6, 2011

My Weekend From Hell

Agility is my life. I would climb the highest mountains, cross the deepest seas, endure great physical pain in order to train and trial my dogs (oh wait, I do). I had a life once. It was a good life too! We traveled to exotic places that were once in a lifetime trips for us. We have been SCUBA diving in the Galapagos Islands, climbed Wainu Picchu (right next to Machu Picchu), gone down the Amazon River on an old refurbished barge, spent the night at Carnival in Rio, tried to outrun a hurricane while cruising near Belize on a very old and slow basically flat bottom boat (I drove the porcelain bus all night long on that trip!)and other wonderful places.

Now our lives revolve around dog agility and that is the way we like it. We live, breathe, sleep and eat this crap (and we pick up a lot of that crap as well with eight dogs!).

So when Sir Cussalot, who is the workhorse of the team, went to Colorado for work on his knee (see previous blog for details), my first thought was how I would manage at trials now that he was useless. I am a very sensitive and caring person you know! It is NOT always about me. Well, sometimes it isn’t about me.

Last weekend was my first time at a trial without Sir C. IT SUCKED! I had nobody to bitch to who really cared. All those other poor slobs I bitched to last weekend pretended to care but I could tell they really didn’t. By the end of the weekend, people were running for the exits when they saw me coming. Many learned I truly do not have a filter in my head. If the thought pops into my head, it will come out of my mouth (unless you ask me not to say anything to anyone, then it is locked in a vault).

I almost cancelled my trip to Argus Ranch for the trial but at the last minute, I changed my mind. I made a motel reservation (the fact that they had rooms available last minute on Labor Day weekend should have been my first clue!), packed up my gear and food, loaded Charisse Poodle and Pankins into the Stinkmobile (aka Extortion) and off we went.

Being vegan and feeding my dogs raw frozen meals, means transporting three days of food for all of us. I had purchased a sweet little rolling soft-sided cooler at Wall-Mart and planned to shop at my favorite health food market (Marlene’s) in Federal Way for my food. I had a shitload of crap to schlep but I was getting used to it since Mel was unable to do much of anything. I was beginning to know why he is so grumpy all the time having to do all the grunt work.

Before we even started the trial, my back hurt like hell and I had a lot more shit to carry and set up. I got to the trial site about 1 PM on Thursday. My plan was to set up my tent and put chairs inside by the rings (2 chairs at each ring for my friends). They told me no setting up chairs before 3! CRAP! So I single-handely pitched my King Canopy outside on the grass (not an easy task for a fat, crippled old woman!), set up the x-pen and played Angry Birds until 3 when it was OK to place my chairs inside.

I am addicted to Angry Birds. I like Angry Birds Rio most but have completed all levels of the original version as well as Angry Birds Seasons. Now I am just trying to get all three stars in each game as well as the golden fruit. I love playing that damn game on my Xoom. The screen is the perfect size.

But I digress.

With tent erected and chairs strategically placed between each pole so I could see(I was the first person there to set chairs), I left feeling good about what I had accomplished on my own! Carrying that heavy tent and x- pen was hard enough but pounding two stakes in each of the four legs about killed me.

We headed to the motel to check in, then off to Marlene’s for a weekend’s worth of human food. The room had a small fridge and microwave so I could feed myself. Lord knows, even if I had no food, I was not going to starve to death! I have enough fat to keep me going for months!

There were more cars in the motel parking lot when we got back. I hoped the room would be fairly quiet. WRONG! Either there was a woman of the evening doing business in the next room most of the night or somebody had big ass supply of Viagra cause what went on and on and on and on about every half hour or so just wasn’t possible for one normal man!

In the room on the other side, they were having a never-ending discussion on God only knows what! That went on until 3:30 AM! Finally that blabber mouth bitch left and when the door slammed shut, Charisse and Pankies ran to the door and went ballistic. I flew out of bed faster than I have moved in 30 years, ran to the door where my sentries were warning the entire block of the imminent danger and told them, “SHHHHUSH! MOTEL DOGS!” In the process, I banged my little finger I had broken last spring but never had fixed. It hurt like a F#@%!^G M#THA F#@%ER. My finger is permanently curled in an unnatural position so I am constantly banging it and it still hurts like HELL!

Finally, once the throbbing pain had died down, I dozed off for a bit and was just starting to dream when Pankies jumped on me and started pawing me desperately to go potty. CRAP! I got up, dressed and took both girls outside. Pankins barely cleared the outside door when she squatted to pee. GOOD GIRL!

It was now about 4 AM and I planned to get up at 5 to go watch my friend in FAST. I closed my eyes for a few minutes, then decided to get up and shower. Sir Cussalot called about 6 to make sure I hadn’t overslept but I was long up and ready to go by the time he phoned. It was very nice of him to check up on me.

Dogs pottied, sandwich made and cooler packed, we headed out to the Stinkmobile. The trial site was about 20 minutes away so I would be there in plenty of time to get settled before my friend ran.

As I walked down the aisle of the large barn towards my chairs, I noticed they had been moved. Some very RUDE assh@!$s had pushed my chairs to left down behind the pole. Not only had they done that, they had pushed them so hard in order to squeeze their chairs into a much too small space, they had folded MY chairs up so there was no way to open them! What a perfect way to start my weekend! I bitched and complained to anyone who would listen, opened up my chairs the best I could and mumbled about how rude some people were. I didn’t recognize the people who smashed my chairs. They were not from these parts. Somebody said it was a mother/son team from out of town.

I waited and waited and waited for my friend to show but she didn’t. Her class was getting ready to walk and still no sign of her. I sent her a rude text asking her where the F#@K she was, to which she replied that she had overslept and would miss her class because she was just leaving. So I played more Angry Birds while still muttering about the rude chair movers.

Later in the morning, I had a huge conflict between my open jumper run with Pankies and my excellent standard run with Charisse. I looked for the Pope to get permission to move Charisse to the top of the 24″ dogs but couldn’t find him so I asked the judge instead and was given the green light. I had missed my walk through because I was getting Pankins ready to run. Moving dogs in AKC is such a pain in the ass now that we have the Jef rule thanks to a couple of PNW morons (not Jef – the idiots who caused the big stink about moving one’s dog without Papal permission).

Pankies qualified but missed her weave entry due to a mental lapse on my part when I failed to give her a verbal decel-left cue. I was very pleased with her! She has overcome so much to get into the ring at all!

Once back at the room after the trial ended, I hoped to get a good night’s sleep. HUH! The motel is right across the way from Emerald Downs Race Track. I think they brought over a bunch of nags and were racing them up and down in the room above me. The hooker was gone and the blabbermouth silent but the elephants above me ran up and down that room for two freaking hours! Finally, I couldn’t take it any longer and called the front desk. I apologized for bothering her and explained the raging herd above me. She was very nice and said she would go up and see what was happening. Then she said, “It is going to be a rough night. We have a wedding party here and there is an antique car show in town.”

After she asked them to keep it down, there was quiet for a while but soon they resumed the races but  on tiptoes. WTF? What could they have possibly been doing up there for hours?

No sooner did I get to sleep when Pankies woke me up to go potty again. CRAP! I would be sleep deprived AND slow the next day! Not a good combination when trying to remember courses let alone Q.

It was another conflict between Pankies and Charisse. I really need to get her out of open! Once again I asked permission to move and it was granted. They said I would walk and run first with the 16″ dogs. I don’t care where I run as long as I know the order so I can time my treats. There I was, standing at the ingate waiting to run when THE MUTHA (of the mother/son duo who moved and squished my chairs), comes barging up to the gate and exclaims that SHE is the first dog in the order. I told her I had checked with three different people and they all said I was supposed to be first. She said, “I MOVED AHEAD OF YOU!” Then she got VERY irate and ruder (as if that were possible!) and barged ahead of me mumbling something about having a conflict (as if I hadn’t). I told the gate person I was out of treats and was ready to run. She asked the woman ahead of me if she had treats left. She said she did then, as the gate steward was starting to ask her to move back and let me go, she stuffed a fistful of treats into her dog’s mouth and said, “NOW I have no treats and I am going to run!”


I looked at the gate steward and raised my eyebrows. THE SON was standing close by listening to the whole thing. He came closer as I told the steward that I wouldn’t have cared if somebody had told me she had moved ahead of me in the order but the fact that she was so rude about it pissed me off.

When I finally got into the ring, I was pretty frazzled. In the 10 years I have been competing in agility, I have been lost maybe three or four times. About half way through the course, I saw the judge put up both hands and realized I had gone wrong. I stood there looking around with ZERO idea of where to go next or what I had done. I was pissed at myself for letting that bitch MUTHA get to me and embarrassed as I stood there in the ring like an Alzheimer’s patient trying to remember where I was and who I was. Too much Celebrex makes me rummy but without it, I can’t move and agility would be impossible.

Finally, the judge, a very compassionate woman, suggested I could start from the double. I wanted to kiss her. The run was gone but Charisse deserved better from me. We finished up and celebrated at usual.

Both dogs had missed an easy lead out pivot in jumpers so I was 0 for 3 that day. As I sat lamenting to a friend, I decided to tell her about my broken finger. Remember, if a thought goes in my head, it comes out my mouth or through my fingers to the keyboard. I showed her how it doesn’t bend and said, “Go on! You try to bend it straight! You can’t!”

She took what I said literally, and CRANKED THE LIVIN SHIT OUT OF MY MANGLED FINGER! I screamed some obscenities and called her names as tears welled in my eyes. I didn’t think she would take me seriously! I thought she would just try to move it lightly. I guess I got what I deserved. She was very apologetic and a bit stunned that I wasn’t exaggerating about the inflexibility of the digit. Then she suggested I see somebody about it before arthritis set in and rendered it useless. Too late.

I limped back to the motel to lick my wounds (mental and physical) and rest. Luckily, it was a much quieter night in the Bates Motel and Pankies slept in until 5. Tomorrow was another day.

I had so wanted to finish up Pankie’s open JWW title that weekend so I could have both dogs in excellent. It wasn’t meant to be. This was supposed to be my last trial until December so I was ansty to get it done.

The best laid plans…

Another conflict sent me to the score table to ask permission to move once again to the top of the 24″ dogs. I had Pankies with me and the 20″ handlers were walking. There was no way I could run Pankies and walk that course. They moved me happily and I was relieved. As I was walking around the aisle with Pankies waiting to run, I noticed that THE SON was the gait steward. As I walked by him, he looked at me with an evil smirk and said with great and obvious glee, “The judge overruled your move. You HAVE to run with the 20″ dogs.” I asked how the hell I was supposed to do that when I hadn’t even walked the course. He said too bad, I had no choice the judge had spoken.

So, I went looking for the judge. THE SON pointed to where he was and said smiling with confidence, “He’s right there! Go ask him for yourself!”

I marched over to the score table and asked him why I couldn’t move my dog. He went on and on about how people were waiting to get their ribbons and they would have to wait for me and I could walk during the 5 minute break BLAH BLAH BLAH. I was very respectful and said, “Sir, I won’t be done by then.” He argued some more and then said, “What if somebody is in a hurry to get home and they are rushing after having to wait for me to score because of you and they get in a wreck and die?”


I looked at him and just said, “REALLY?”

I turned and walked away and said, “Forget it. I will just scratch my dog from your ring.”

Somebody must have pointed out to him that there was no way I could possible walk and run with the 20″ dogs because he started calling after me that he would allow me to move. THE SON looked very displeased and the evil smirk was wiped off his face. Evidently, the judge had made THE MUTHA (who had a 20″ dog in the same open ring as I did) walk and run with the 20″ excellent standard dogs. I heard her questioning him as to why I got to run with the 24″ dogs and she didn’t. WAH WAH WAH. Then he explained to her that I had a 24″ dog in open and would be done well after the walkthrough was over. She was not happy, nor was THE SON.

After all that, there was no way I was going to NQ on that excellent standard course with Charisse! I went out and gave it my all and then some. We Qed and the judge kept saying over and over after we were done, “NICE RUN! NICE RUN! GREAT JOB!” Later I told him he needed to come to all my trials and piss me off so I would run better. Luckily, he had a good sense of humor.

Sadly, Pankies and I didn’t Q but we sure had some fun and I got a lot of compliments on her. By the time we had entered the ring, I was so upset by the argument about moving Charisse, Pankins had picked up on it. Her ears were pinned on top of her head and she was stress panting. I am happy to see she stresses up instead of down! I can deal with up stress but down stressing is a real pain. She ran well I thought but I just didn’t do a good job of handling her. She is much faster than her mum so my timing is way off. It won’t get any better so she is going to have to learn to read my mind.

Next came Charisse’s JWW run. I was determined to get that double Q if it killed me! There were about three dogs to go before my run and I noticed they were NOT running the course the way I had walked it! WTF??? I asked my friend Jef where the course went and he said, “Just like they are running it moron.” CRAP! I told him I had walked it wrong and asked if I could just run that part dog on left and rear cross. He said it was a piece of cake and I could do it with my eyes closed.

We Qed! YEAH! DOUBLE Q! What a nice way to end the weekend from hell.

I did have loads of fun playing Angry Birds with Jef and having him get the three stars that made me struggle.

My wonderful friends, Jef, his wife Rossie and Claudia, helped me pack up my crap and haul it to the Stinkmobile. I couldn’t have done it by myself. I was wiped.

In a weaker moment, I signed up for another trial at the end of this month. I think I am a glutton for punishment. I am not sure Sir C will be able to make so I may be on my own again.

GOD I love this sport!


  1. At one time I ran three 16″ dogs and two 24″ dogs. 16″ and24″ always conflicted in 2 ring trials. I was always amazed at the people who wanted to separate their TWO 16″ dogs by 40 dogs while forcing me to run back to back to back- zig- zagging between two rings. It should not take an act of congress to move your dogs around so that they all get a fair chance. I always said if the club discounted my multiple entry fees, THEN I would consider it fair that I had to run under less ideal conditions, but as long as I pay the same amount, then EVERY ONE of my dogs should get their fair chance.

  2. That post was hilarious and the videos were great. Your handling is inspiring,especially the last one. Thanks for sharing

  3. Helen,
    I just started in reading your blog. You literally crack me up LOL! I loved the Mutha and SON!!
    Pam C and Ruben

    PS-Do you have any comments about the USDAA “Sounding Board” where we are not allowed to say anything more at all about the usdaa rule on up contacts?

  4. Helen you always make me laugh. Thanks for being you!!

  5. I had just made a comment to someone last night about how unusually quiet I thought you were last weekend. She mentioned to read your blog:-) I must have seen you in the quiet contemplative pissed off moments.

    • BLYNN! You know I am just a quiet little wallflower!

  6. Thoroughly enjoyed your latest escapade .
    YOu had me throwing my head back with laughter….
    What a cretan and his mutha…

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